Inspired by the accepting and nurturing relationship between a young person and a grandparent, the programme recruits, trains and supports volunteer mentors from a diverse range of backgrounds, aged 50 plus, known as Grandmentors. They use their skills and experience to provide bespoke mentoring for young people leaving care during their transition into adulthood and independence.
They are appealing to local residents over the age of 50 to volunteer their time and talents on the Grandmentors programme. Jason Jones, Volunteering Matters Head of Wales, South West and Midlands, said: “We are delighted to be teaming up with City of Wolverhampton Council to launch Grandmentors in Wolverhampton.
“I’ve seen first hand the life changing impact that volunteers can have on young people in our Grandmentors projects in other areas and know that there are many people over 50 in Wolverhampton who have valuable skills and experience that could really benefit a young care leaver.”
Young people who leave care enter a crucial period of their lives, in which they plan and prepare for their future. During this period of transition, those leaving care face significant challenges. Grandmentors has proven to be a game changer, matching 500 Grandmentors with young care leavers across the UK in the past decade – and dramatically enhancing the life chances of young people.
A total of 82% of the vulnerable young people supported by their Grandmentors are in education, employment or training within 6 months of graduating the programme, compared with just 51% for care leavers nationally.
Councillor John Reynolds, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: "The Grandmentors project is a fantastic initiative which will really support our young people at one of the most challenging times in their lives.
“I would encourage anyone who is interested in becoming a Grandmentor, and help care leavers successfully make the transition to adulthood, to contact Volunteering Matters to find out more about this wonderful opportunity."
If you would like to find out more about Grandmentors, or are interested in volunteering, contact Farhana Akthar on 07719 959777 or at Farhana.Akthar@volunteeringmatters.org.uk.